At the same time, he stressed that efforts are being made to conclude a truce, “most recent of which are the meetings in Oslo and the Turkish island of Imrali.”

Ahmed Deniz

By Bassem Francis, Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) – Al Monitor  : Ahmed Deniz, the PKK’s spokesman and head of foreign relations, told Al-Hayat that “Turkey’s announcement of its support for the Syrian people’s desire to end the Assad regime is an outgrowth of [Turkey’s] interests. If Turkey were honest, it would recognize the rights of the Kurdish people, who have suffered more than other groups under the regime over the loss of their identity.”

He explained that “Ankara strongly fears Syrian Kurds getting their rights. Turkey fears this might affect the Kurds in Turkey. For this reason, Turkey has adopted a hypocritical policy and supported groups with which they are affiliated to fight in Syria.”He said, “Ankara seeks to instigate an internal conflict in Syrian Kurdistan, among Kurds themselves and between Arabs, Kurds and Turks. Ankara is using the presence of PKK militants there as a false justification. They contradict the Islamic values that they claim to adhere to.”

He described clashes between the PKK and the Turkish army as “fierce,” especially given that they are taking place “in Butan and some other areas as a result of [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s policies, not ours.” At the same time, he stressed that efforts are being made to conclude a truce, “most recent of which are the meetings in Oslo and the Turkish island of Imrali.”

He added: “Our conditions aren’t unfeasible; all we want is to have identity, entity and equality like the other people of the region, such as Persians, Turks and Arabs. We believe that the problem will not be solved through a war, even if it were to last hundreds of years, but rather by sitting at the same table. However, Erdogan has chosen war under the pretext that one of his people was killed. This is regardless of who killed the Kurds, isolated Abdullah Ocalan and incarcerated more than 10,000 innocent political activists without trial.” He also called on the Turkish government to abandon violence and return to the table of dialogue with Ocalan.

As for the PKK’s position regarding the tension between Erbil and Baghdad, Deniz said: “The Kurdish people are not in a state of hostility with anyone. All they want is their rights and to live in peace with the people of the region. We reject what took place between the Kurdistan region and Baghdad, since it will lead to casualties. The solution lies in dialogue and the countries of the region abandoning their hostility toward the Kurdish people.” He added, “We warn that failure to respect the rights of Kurdish people will deprive the Middle East of democracy and freedom.”

He ruled out the possibility of a confrontation between the Peshmerga forces and Iraqi army in the disputed areas, adding, “There are no signs that a confrontation will erupt; both of them would be harmed.” As for the Turkish military base in the Kurdistan region, he said, “The objective is to promote the occupation. Iraq must responsibly deal with the issue to get it out of the country and deal with the Kurdish people in the language of dialogue, away from any military threat.”